Cromer squash team involved in a classic match in Summer League opener
Cromer's Norfolk SRA Summer League fixtures finally got under way when the team travelled to Fleggburgh to take on Broadland II in a Division Two match.
The evening's matches could hardly have been closer as each was decided over five games but three of the four went in favour of the home team which meant Cromer lost 15-9.
Both club champion Stephen Watts and former club champion John Baker were unavailable but technical Director Barry Starling was still able to select a competitive team with Alex Oliver at No.1 supported by Matthew Jordan and veterans Martin Sanville and John Chandler.
Chandler has been playing competitive squash 57 matches for the past couple of months and he took time to re-adapt his game to the different pace of the smaller ball and longer handled racket of the traditional game. He lost the first two games before recovering well to take the next two and draw level. The effort he expended however took its toll as he lost the fifth game 13-8.
Sanville has also been playing Squash 57 but this didn't seem to affect his performance at all as he opened up a 2-1 lead in his match and looked as though he was heading for victory. He then lost the fourth game 13-10 but opened up a 12-9 lead in the decisive fifth game before his opponent won five consecutive points to take the game 14-9 and the match 3-2.
Jordan's match followed a similar pattern to that of Chandler's. He lost the opening two games but then took the third game 13-2 and drew level by winning the fourth. He was not able to build on this and his opponent clawed back the advantage to take the final game 13-9.
Cromer did get the victory their performance deserved when Oliver, who has now risen to No.83 in the county rankings, won a close first string match which again could easily have gone either way.
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Afterwards Starling said: 'I have been involved with Cromer matches for more than 30 years and I don't think I can remember one as close and exciting as this. Olly was magnificent in the first string slot.'
Results: Alex Oliver beat Justin Millar 13-9 11-13 16-14 12-14 13-6, Matthew Jordan lost to Mark Woolner 11-13 6-13 13-2 13-8 9-13, Martin Sanville lost to Richard Hall 11-13 13-11 13-9 10-13 12-14, John Chandler lost to Shaun Cramer 6-13 8-13 13-10 13-7 8-13.